- Local governments around Wisconsin next year will receive more state money, called shared revenue
- Brown County's boost is approximately $2 million
- Watch the video to see whether that increase from the state will lead to a property tax cut for homeowners
As holiday cards begin to arrive in mailboxes, soon enough, homeowners' property tax bills will, too.
This year's bills will come after state government approved sending more money to counties and other local governments across Wisconsin.
That money from the state to local government is called shared revenue; the increase going to Brown County is approximately $2 million; the Village of Howard's increase is approximately $500,000.
Our question to several local leaders:
Will that increased state check to local government, lead to property tax bills going down?
The answer is no in Brown County and the Village of Howard.
"Actually what [increased shared revenue] is really doing is just paying for the services that Brown County has been paying for the state," said Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
Some County expenses are also up, Streckenbach said, including pay raises at the County jail and the 911 dispatch center.
Even so, and for reasons other than the shared revenue increase, the Brown County tax rate that homeowners will pay is going down compared to last year, Streckenbach said.
"In the end, Brown County taxpayers will see a property tax rate reduction... but that's primarily because of the work that Brown County is doing here locally."
That tax rate reduction means that for a home with a tax value of $200,000 (if the value did not change from last year), the County tax bill would go down by $55.
(Property taxes also include charges for other entities, like school, city, or village taxes that could affect a homeowner's total bill.)
In Howard, Village Administrator Paul Evert said the increase in shared revenue will go toward boosting services.
The largest is increasing and bringing the Village rescue service in-house.
"We have an ambulance service that we contract with, but we're going to be done with the ambulance contracting service," Evert said.
"[We will] actually have full-time firefighter-paramedics here 24/7, so we'll be much more robustly staffed."
That change brings a spending increase of $1 million or more, Evert said. The Village will pay for the changes using the shared revenue increase, as well as grant money, and ambulance service proceeds.
Evert said the change will greatly improve response times for ambulance and fire calls.
To provide the increased services without the bump in shared revenue, the Village would have needed to cut other services or borrow money, Evert said.
"That's a good thing for the community, that we have a full-time fire [department]," said Howard resident Keith Nuthals.
"Hopefully we never have to use it, but it's there."